Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

SIXTY DEGREES NORTH by Malachy Tallack
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 15, 2016

"An enthralling meditation on place."
A longing for home sends the author around the world. Read full book review >
YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT by Jessi Klein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"A gifted comedian turns the anxieties, obsessions, insecurities, and impossible-to-meet expectations that make up human nature into laughter."
From childhood to motherhood, comedian Klein's fresh takes on the perplexities of womanhood in America. Read full book review >

TRYING TO FLOAT by Nicolaia Rips
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"An engaging story with a big heart, written by a young adult whose sharply tuned and often witty observations will appeal to adults and teens alike."
First-time author Rips, a high school senior who lives with her parents in New York's legendary Chelsea Hotel, reflects on her earlier years attending public schools in the city and befriending the many eccentric residents at the hotel. Read full book review >
THE VOYEUR'S MOTEL by Gay Talese
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"Undoubtedly creepy and unnerving but also an entirely compelling slice of seamy American life."
The disturbing private world of the sleaziest motel manager since Norman Bates. Read full book review >
BITTERROOT by Steven Faulkner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 7, 2016

"A fine travelogue worthy of shelving next to Jonathan Raban and William Least Heat-Moon."
A well-recounted father-and-son journey in the Missouri River country. Read full book review >

THE RETURN by Hisham Matar
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 5, 2016

"A beautifully written, harrowing story of a son's search for his father and how the impact of inexplicable loss can be unrelenting while the strength of family and cultural ties can ultimately sustain."
Novelist Matar (Anatomy of a Disappearance, 2011, etc.) returns to his native Libya in 2012 following a three-decade exile. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 5, 2016

"Indelible characters, adventurous spirit, and acute psychological insight combine in this multilayered debut."
A memoir of arctic adventure that goes deeper into self-discovery and finding a home. Read full book review >
ANGELA MERKEL by Matthew Qvortrup
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2016

"This eye-opening biography, drawing from rich behind-the-scenes knowledge, is necessary reading for anyone who wants to broaden his or her perspective on the world today."
A biography of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (b. 1954) that provides insight and clarity into Germany's often underreported role in shaping the European political landscape. Read full book review >
HILLBILLY ELEGY by J.D. Vance
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 28, 2016

"An unusually timely and deeply affecting view of a social class whose health and economic problems are making headlines in this election year."
A Yale Law School graduate's account of his traumatic hillbilly childhood and the plight of America's angry white working class. Read full book review >
BEING A BEAST by Charles Foster
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 21, 2016

"A splendid, vivid contribution to the literature of nature."
In which an English author, tired of the high street, takes to the fens and burrows to learn how animals live. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 21, 2016

"From interviews and archival documents, Lascher creates a seamless narrative of daring and dedication."
Two journalists caught in war and love. Read full book review >
IN THE DARKROOM by Susan Faludi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A moving and penetrating inquiry into manifold struggles for identity, community, and authenticity."
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist investigates the "fluidity and binaries" of "modern transsexuality." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >